UPDATED with video: Russian ruler Vladimir Putin huffed and puffed his way through a sit down with Fox News, insisting Russia “as a state, has never interfered with the internal affairs of the United States, let alone its elections.”
“Do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?” he asked, wide-eyed.
We’re sorry to report Chris Wallace did not answer “duh-yes.” But anyway, it would not have mattered because Putin answered for him, saying “This is utterly ridiculous!”
Putin claimed, as had Trump at today’s presser, that the DNC is to blame for being hacked.
Putin dismissed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s charges against one of Putin’s most trusted henchman, who fronts a catering service, feigning incredulity that Mueller had accused a “certain private company in Russia that is not even a very big enterprise; it’s core area of competence is a restaurant business.”
He again said Mueller should have worked with his people, per a treaty between the two countries, on his investigation, scolding, “Why wouldn’t Special Counsel Mueller send us an official request within the framework of this agreement?”
Putin didn’t actually say “witch hunt,” going with the considerably less zippy “dirty methods in the political rivalry” when he derided the Mueller probe as “the internal political games of the United States.”
“Don’t make the relationship between Russia and the United States — don’t hold it hostage of this internal political struggle,” Putin advised, adding, “it’s quite clear to me that this is used in the internal political struggle, and it’s nothing to be proud of for American democracy, to use such dirty methods in the political rivalry.”
But Putin sounded very Trump-y when he said he said he actually had some doubts about the appointment of Mueller in the first place.
“I think that American court now believes that it was done with the infringement of the American legislation, but that’s none of my business. Please address it yourself,” he scoffed.
Wallace corrected Putin, saying Congress did not appoint Mueller, the DOJ did.
As had the AP during the presser, Wallace asked Putin to comment on reports he had kompromat on Trump, and that, as a skilled politician and former KGB officer he finds Trump easy to “play” using trigger phrases like “Fake News” and “Deep State.”
Pretending the very idea bunched his undies, Putin huffed, “Well, the first point I’m about to make is — why did we take — talk about like this, polite people? Why should this come as a surprise? Was it worth going all the way to Helsinki, going through the Atlantic, to just insult one another and — well, it’s not exactly the diplomatic standard in the world. There is no need to go and meet a person if you just want to insult another person. We met to try to find a way for improving our relationship and not aggravating it or destroying it completely.”
But the highlight of the interview had to be his response when asked if he has “something” on Trump. Trump was too puny a fish, pre-White House, for him to have bothered to collect compromising information on, Putin said.
“I don’t want to insult President Trump when I say this — and I may come as rude — but before he announced that he will run for presidency, he was of no interest for us,” the former KGB honcho insisted.
“He was a rich person, but, well, there’s plenty of rich persons in the United States. He was in the construction business. He organized the beauty pageants. But no, it would never occur to anyone that he would think of running for president. He never mentioned his political ambitions. It sounds like it’s utter nonsense.”
We will set aside Putin’s lie that Trump had never mentioned his political ambitions – it having been one of Trump’s favorite topics for years and years.
Getting back to his response, in case Wallace actually had bought that last gag, the Russian ruler tried out this:
“Just imagine this in the press conference — St. Petersburg Economic Forum was visited by 500 businessmen. Pretty much every one of them is a major industrial tycoon of greater scale than President Trump. Do you think that our Special Services actually organized surveillance on each and every of them?”
Again, sorry to report Wallace did not answer “yes.”
“Well, unlike you, unlike the United States, we don’t do this. We don’t have enough resources. We don’t have enough manpower to organize the total state of control,” Putin said with a straight face.
“That’s not part of our plans. And it’s clear that we did nothing of that kind of against Mr. Trump.”